Arts and Entertainment

The Good Wife on More4 is in the midst of a reputation revision. Long-term fans of the smart, glossy legal drama, which began its fifth season on More4 last night, often complain it's not given the recognition it deserves. It's true that among crime and law procedurals (TV shows where a problem is raised and solved within a single episode) this is a show of unusual quality. But is The Good Wife really that good?

Nina Conti and friends

Nina Conti: a Ventriloquist's Story, BBC4, Sunday
Dead Boss, BBC3, Thursday
Louis Theroux: Twighlight of the Porn Stars, BBC2, Sunday

A ventriloquist at a career crossroads lets her dummy show the way – to poignant effect

When the Devil Drives, By Chris Brookmyre

A midsummer night's murder mystery

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Kensington Gardens, London; Ragtime, Regent's Park Open Air Theatre, London; Atigone, NT Olivier, London

Two book adaptations join the season's outdoor productions, while a Greek tragedy exiles Antigone to Sixties corporate America

Life is a Dream, Argyle Works, Birmingham

When the young Pierre Boulez said that opera houses should be blown up, he was attacking, not opera, but its cultural ambience- the snobbery, exclusivity and expense.

Album: Antonio Pappano, Rolando Villazon, Sophie Koch, Massenet: Werther (Deutsche Grammophon)

For a two-hour opera, not an awful lot happens in Werther – boy is denied girl, and sulks his way to suicide – but the status of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther as the foundation stone of Romantic self-absorption means Massenet's opera is more character study than narrative.

Women in operas can't resist a rake

Things do not look good for Anne Truelove. "No word from Tom," she sings, while her beloved vanishes to London, led astray by the sinister Nick Shadow. That is just the start of her problems. Stravinsky's neoclassical masterpiece, The Rake's Progress, concludes with a heartbreaking scene in which Anne sings her Tom a lullaby as he dies by inches in the lunatic asylum of Bedlam.

Women can't resist a rake

Things do not look good for Anne Truelove. "No word from Tom," she sings, while her beloved vanishes to London, led astray by the sinister Nick Shadow. That is just the start of her problems. Stravinsky's neoclassical masterpiece, The Rake's Progress, concludes with a heartbreaking scene in which Anne sings her Tom a lullaby as he dies by inches in the lunatic asylum of Bedlam.

Grainger will compete in the 2012 games and has inspired the 'LTS Row' collection for Long Tall Sally

My Secret Life: Katherine Grainger, 36, Olympic Rower

'I wanted to join the circus'

Totem, Royal Albert Hall, London

Cirque du Soleil has a highly successful formula that surrounds strong, polished circus acts with bombastic glitter and vaguely uplifting sentiment.

My Edinburgh: The Boy with Tape on His Face, comedian

As a silent act, I enjoy the noise of Edinburgh during the Fringe. The tourist shops selling "Scotty" caps complete with ginger hair wouldn't be the same without blasting bagpipes covering "Fly me to the Moon". The shout of street performers, who block off the mile and all read from a universal script, would be a mere whisper if it was reduced to slow hand claps and the smell of jugglers (white spirit and cabbages). It's the constant babble of people summing up their shows in 10 seconds that you manage to tune out. Occasionally, it is nice to tune it back in again and have a listen.

David Shillinglaw's new exhibition: a picture preview

A new collection of works by David Shillinglaw will bring together a selection of art hoping to reflect 'the constant search for and consumption of that which makes us complete'

Win tickets to see The Flying Karamazov Brothers

The funniest, most diverting 100 minutes you’ll spend all summer

Last Night's TV: Agatha Christie's Marple/ITV1<br />Wonderland &ndash; The Kids Who Play with Fire/BBC2<br />Fisherman's Friends/ITV1

I don't know whether you care why they didn't ask Evans or not, but if you're hoping for clarification here I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you. I didn't know the answer before I watched Agatha Christie's Marple, never having read that particular novel, and I'm no wiser now that I have. I can tell you who Evans was, because he was played by Mark Williams, who could read out the fine print on a phone contract and make it interesting. Or at least I can tell you who one Evans was, because I was vaguely aware – through the light coma of the final explanation scene – that another Evans was sprung on us at the final moment. But I'm afraid I don't know what they should have asked Evans or why exactly this question was connected to the dying man who'd croaked it out two achingly long hours earlier. I fought sleep valiantly, I promise you, but there were a couple of moments when it had me pinned for a while.

Silence, Hampstead Theatre, London

Silence may seem a paradoxical title for a show by the excellent Filter, one of whose fortes is using sound to sound the depths of a theme or dramatic situation.

Slightly Fat Features: Variety in the House, Roundhouse, London

A man runs naked from the sea, gathering clothes as his journey progresses on land – a Reggie Perrin-esque escapade in reverse. So opens this family-friendly variety show that, for the most part, covers itself in credit.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine